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Seventy-eight Ukrainian credit union professionals on May 18-19 participated in online meetings with a professional psychologist that were set up by World Council of Credit Unions' Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project, a U.S. Agency for International Development-funded activity.
Credit union employees, like all Ukrainians, face unprecedented problems and challenges due to Russia's invasion and the subsequent war, including psychological and emotional overload.
"I have been meeting some friends and relatives and helping them evacuate abroad. The situation of people being separated, of what they experienced in the east [of Ukraine], made very heavy and painful impressions—feelings of rage and inability to change the situation at the same time," said one attendee.
The participants, which included some credit union professionals from occupied areas of Ukraine, learned various techniques for restoring the psychological balance that has been disrupted by the constant stress caused by war. The psychologist explained that the lack of relevant experience can lead to the wrong assessment of person’s condition, roots of their problems and emotions, as well as ways to address them. The techniques presented during webinars will not only help the credit unions employees personally, but may be deployed in their communication with colleagues, clients, partners, children and family members.
The questions asked by attendees during the event proved the relevance of the topic and the great need for professional psychological support among credit union employees and CAP Project employees who attended the event as well.
A post-event survey found more than a half of the respondents have not directly experienced living in a conflict zone or occupied region, nor have they lost property. However, 55% of the respondents assessed the impact of war on their physical and psychological state as high. On average, the respondents evaluated their need for further individual or group psychological support as seven out of a possible 10.
The psychologist also made attendees aware she is available for one-on-one sessions, with full confidentiality provided.